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Roach Will Help Build USA Boxing For 2012 Olympics

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FreddieRoach_Nike110507_001aChris Farina photo

U.S. Olympic Committee, USA Boxing and

Freddie Roach Training, Inc. partner in run-up to London 2012

World class trainer to assist elite American boxers in advance of Olympic Games

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – In an effort to ensure American boxers have access to the very best training and support in the world in advance of the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Boxing and Freddie Roach Training, Inc. have formed a unique partnership which will give America’s elite amateur boxers access to the world class services of Freddie Roach and his Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif., a USA Boxing registered club since 1997.

 “I’d like to thank Freddie and his team for their willingness to help our boxers achieve their highest potential,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. “I’m thrilled that we were able to make this happen and can’t wait to see the results.”

 A former amateur and professional boxer himself and one of the most sought after trainers in the world, Roach has been training elite boxers for more than 20 years and has been in the corner of 17 World Champions at the professional level. Roach has also been honored as Trainer of the Year by the Boxing Writers Association of America a record five times and has been inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame, the New England Boxing Hall of Fame, and most recently the California Boxing Hall of Fame.

 “An Olympic medal is one of the greatest accomplishments in all of sport, and I promise to do all I can to ensure that these young men and women are fully prepared to go to London to proudly represent our country,” said Roach. “A special thanks to USA Boxing and the USOC for supporting this initiative and Casey Wasserman and Nick Khan for helping to put this together. This partnership is an exciting new chapter in my career and I can’t wait to get started.”

 The program being instituted by this new partnership is designed to act as a resource for up to ten medal-potential athletes to attend multi-day training sessions at the Wild Card Gym with their personal coaches and USA Boxing's National Coach Joe Zanders. These sessions will be established under the leadership of Freddie Roach and his staff and will be used to help provide feedback and strategy on the athletes’ preparation for the Olympic Games. The USOC will support this program as an add-on to the 2011-12 approved high performance plan with the intent of providing a unique and valuable resource for the designated athletes as a supplement to the existing coaching structure.

 “President Harold Adonis and the USA Boxing board of directors fully support and thank the USOC and Scott Blackmun for facilitating these efforts as well as Freddie Roach for the generous gift of his time,” said USA Boxing Executive Director Anthony Bartkowski. “The addition of Freddie Roach to the USA Boxing High Performance and National Coaching structure is an innovative concept that will aid in our mission of winning Olympic medals. Freddie’s extensive expertise will augment our high performance and training plans, and we look forward to working with him to build international success in London and beyond.”

USA Boxing has identified the lack of integration of its athletes' personal coaches into past training plans as a key weakness in the organization's major event preparation. The inclusion of the U.S. medal hopefuls' own coaches in Freddie Roach's training sessions will be a critical component. These unique training opportunities will provide USA Boxing's grassroots coaches with innovative training plans and tips they can take to their local gyms and share with additional athletes and fellow local coaches.

Roach's work with USA Boxing will begin later this month as he joins USA Boxing's coaching team at a High Performance retreat at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. and will continue at additional key events throughout the summer. As women's boxing will make its Olympic debut at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Roach will be working with top medal hopefuls on both the men's and women's side during his training sessions at the Wild Card Boxing Club.

Freddie Roach’s Press Conference Quotes

“It’s a privilege to work with the Olympic boxers. I had a chance to experience the Olympics in 1976. Being there and being part of it was an unbelievable experience. I always dreamed of being an Olympic boxer.

“I want to help the Olympic team get back into form and get some medals, and hopefully get some gold medals.

“I think with my experience I can help us get back in there to win some medals.

“There’s a lot of politics in the Olympics but I’m pretty good at making parents and coaches part of the team. I can handle egos like that – I think we all have them.

“If you have a good team behind you that will lead to success.

“At first I was asked to train the Philippine team but I told Nick (Khan) I wanted to help the American team.

“I’m very proud of this. I hope to make a difference and I can’t wait to start.”

For more information, please contact the USOC Communications Division at (719) 866-4529 or visit www.teamusa.org. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura

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The WBC World Super Featherweight title bout between Francisco Vargas and Takashi Miura came on one of the biggest boxing stages of 2015, as the bout served as the HBO pay-per-view’s co-main event on November 21st, in support of Miguel Cotto vs Saul Alvarez.

Miura entered the fight with a (29-2-2) record and he was making the fifth defense of his world title, while Vargas entered the fight with an undefeated mark of (22-0-1) in what was his first world title fight. Both men had a reputation for all-out fighting, with Miura especially earning high praise for his title defense in Mexico where he defeated Sergio Thompson in a fiercely contested battle.

The fight started out hotly contested, and the intensity never let up. Vargas seemed to win the first two rounds, but by the fourth round, Miura seemed to pull ahead, scoring a knock-down and fighting with a lot of confidence. After brawling the first four rounds, Miura appeared to settle into a more technical approach. Rounds 5 and 6 saw the pendulum swing back towards Vargas, as he withstood Miura’s rush to open the fifth round and the sixth round saw both men exchanging hard punches.

The big swinging continued, and though Vargas likely edged Miura in rounds 5 and 6, Vargas’ face was cut in at least two spots and Miura started to assert himself again in rounds 7 and 8. Miura was beginning to grow in confidence while it appeared that Vargas was beginning to slow down, and Miura appeared to hurt Vargas at the end of the 8th round.

Vargas turned the tide again at the start of the ninth round, scoring a knock down with an uppercut and a straight right hand that took Miura’s legs and sent him to the canvas. Purely on instinct, Miura got back up and continued to fight, but Vargas was landing frequently and with force. Referee Tony Weeks stepped in to stop the fight at the halfway point of round 9 as Miura was sustaining a barrage of punches.

Miura still had a minute and a half to survive if he was going to get out of the round, and it was clear that he was not going to stop fighting.

A back and forth battle of wills between two world championship level fighters, Takashi Miura versus “El Bandido” Vargas wins the 2015 Fight of the Year.

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Jan 9 in Germany – Feigenbutz and De Carolis To Settle Score

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This coming Saturday, January 9th, the stage is set at the Baden Arena in Offenburg, Germany for a re-match between Vincent Feigenbutz and Giovanni De Carolis. The highly anticipated re-match is set to air on SAT.1 in Germany, and Feigenbutz will once again be defending his GBU and interim WBA World titles at Super Middleweight.

The first meeting between the two was less than three months ago, on October 17th and that meeting saw Feigenbutz controversially edge De Carolis on the judge’s cards by scores of (115-113, 114-113 and 115-113). De Carolis scored a flash knock down in the opening round, and he appeared to outbox Feigenbutz in the early going, but the 20 year old German champion came on in the later rounds.

The first bout is described as one of the most crowd-pleasing bouts of the year in Germany, and De Carolis and many observers felt that the Italian had done enough to win.

De Carolis told German language website RAN.DE that he was more prepared for the re-match, and that due to the arrogance Feigenbutz displayed in the aftermath of the first fight, he was confident that he had won over some of the audience. Though De Carolis fell short of predicting victory, he promised a re-vamped strategy tailored to what he has learned about Feigenbutz, whom he termed immature and inexperienced.

The stage is set for Feigenbutz vs De Carolis 2, this Saturday January 9th in Offenburg, Germany. If you can get to the live event do it, if not you have SAT.1 in Germany airing the fights, and The Boxing Channel right back here for full results.

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2015 Knock Out of the Year – Saul Alvarez KO’s James Kirkland

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On May 9th of 2015, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez delivered a resonant knock-out of James Kirkland on HBO that wins the 2015 KO of the Year.

The knock-out itself came in the third round, after slightly more than two minutes of action. The end came when Alvarez delivered a single, big right hand that caught Kirkland on the jaw and left him flat on his back after spinning to the canvas.Alvarez was clearly the big star heading into the fight. The fight was telecast by HBO for free just one week after the controversial and disappointing Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao fight, and Alvarez was under pressure to deliver the type of finish that people were going to talk about. Kirkland was happy to oblige Alvarez, taking it right to Alvarez from the start. Kirkland’s aggression saw him appear to land blows that troubled the young Mexican in the early going. Alvarez played good defense, and he floored Kirkland in the first round, displaying his power and his technique in knocking down an aggressive opponent.

However, Kirkland kept coming at Alvarez and the fight entered the third round with both men working hard and the feeling that the fight would not go the distance. Kirkland continued to move forward, keeping “Canelo” against the ropes and scoring points with a barrage of punches while looking for an opening.

At around the two minute mark, Alvarez landed an uppercut that sent Kirkland to the canvas again. Kirkland got up, but it was clear that he did not have his legs under him. Kirkland was going to try to survive the round, but Alvarez had an opportunity to close out the fight. The question was would he take it?

Alvarez closed in on Kirkland, putting his opponent’s back to the ropes. Kirkland was hurt, but he was still dangerous, pawing with punches and loading up for one big shot.

But it was the big shot “Canelo” threw that ended the night. Kirkland never saw it coming, as he was loading up with a huge right hand of his own. The right Alvarez threw cracked Kirkland in the jaw, and his eyes went blank. His big right hand whizzed harmlessly over the head of a ducking Alvarez, providing the momentum for the spin that left Kirkland prone on the canvas.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez went on to defeat Miguel Cotto in his second fight of 2015 and he is clearly one of boxing’s biggest stars heading into 2016. On May 9th Alvarez added another reel to his highlight film when he knocked out James Kirkland with the 2015 “Knock Out of the Year”.

Photo by naoki fukuda

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